Ea$ing into the USA: study protocol for adapting the Economic and Social Empowerment (EA$E) intervention for US-based, forcibly based populations

Jhumka Gupta, Jessica Dalpe, Samantha Kanselaar, Shoba Ramanadhan, Patrice Comoe Boa, Michelle S. Williams, Karin Wachter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Immigrant and forcibly displaced women and girls are disproportionately impacted by the harmful health consequences of intimate partner violence (IPV) in the USA. Economic and Social Empowerment (EA$E), a women's protection and empowerment intervention, has shown promising reductions in IPV and gender inequities among forcibly displaced populations (FDPs) in low-income and middle-income countries. However, research on the integration of gender equity interventions into economic empowerment programming for FDPs within the USA is lacking. Additionally, there is growing interest in integrating gender equity programmes among US-based refugee resettlement organisations, including the International Rescue Committee (IRC). We describe our study protocol for examining the feasibility, acceptability and appropriateness of EA$E for use with US-based FDPs, and recommendations for adaptation. Methods and analysis: This is a convergent parallel study to guide the adaptation of EA$E for use with US-based FDPs. Mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative) will be used for the adaptation research. Quantitative data will consist of brief surveys, and qualitative data will consist of focus group discussions (FGDs). Our research will be guided by the 'administration' phase of the ADAPT-ITT framework, which entails pretesting the intervention with the new target audience and implementation context to examine acceptability, appropriateness and feasibility to receive feedback to inform modifications of the original intervention. This is done via theatre testing, an innovative approach to pretesting that allows the new target audience to experience the intervention and provide feedback. We will conduct FGDs with IRC staff (n=4, total of 24 participants) and refugee clients (n=8, total of 48 participants, women and men, French and English speaking). Ethics and dissemination: The study has received approval from the George Mason University Human Subjects Committee (#1686712-7) and IRC (via reliance agreement). Results will be made available to refugee resettlement organisations, policymakers, funders and other researchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere069069
JournalBMJ open
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 3 2023


  • Health Equity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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